The 5 Best Investments You Can Make in 2018

The strangest of years will be drawing to a close in just a few weeks.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The strangest of years will be drawing to a close in just a few weeks. It’s already time to start mapping out your financial plans for 2018. So, what should we expect in the new year? And importantly, what are the best investments you can make heading into it?

Let’s start with what we know, or at least with what we think we know.

The Federal Reserve is planning on raising interest rates three or four times next year. Take any forecasts with a grain of salt, but it’s safe to say there will be at least a little monetary tightening and that short-term rates will go a little higher. This by no means guarantees market turbulence, but it does create headwinds for further gains. Just remember: The Fed is raising rates because the economy is strong and getting stronger. Unemployment is near multi-decade lows, and even long-dormant European and emerging-market economies are showing signs of life. We’ll be starting the new year with very strong economic momentum.

We also know the stock market will start 2018 in expensive territory. The S&P 500 currently sports a Shiller price-to-earnings ratio of 32, nearly double the long-term average. Expensive markets regularly get more expensive, but at this stage in the cycle, you must be more careful about where you invest.

Lastly, investors have gotten used to ignoring political and macro risk, from bombastic comments from President Donald Trump to the threat of war with North Korea. But that complacency may or may not last. Suffice it to say, 2018 should be interesting.

Today, I’m going to recommend five of the best investments you should make in 2018. This is not another hot list of stocks, but instead a full strategy for the year ahead. However, some of these require significant planning, so you’ll want to take the first steps today.

Data is as of Dec. 6, 2017. Click on ticker-symbol links in each slide for current share prices and more.

Charles Lewis Sizemore, CFA
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger.com

Charles Lewis Sizemore, CFA is the Chief Investment Officer of Sizemore Capital Management LLC, a registered investment advisor based in Dallas, Texas, where he specializes in dividend-focused portfolios and in building alternative allocations with minimal correlation to the stock market.